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Namibia: Industrial Property Bill Proposed

(Apr. 19, 2010) On April 6, 2010, Tjekero Tweya, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, introduced the Industrial Property Bill in the Namibian Parliament for floor action. The bill is intended to replace the fragmented legislation currently in place (including the Trade Marks in South West Africa Act (No. 48 of 1973), the Patents Act (No. 9 of 1916), and Proclamation 17 of 1923) and to provide a comprehensive legal framework for the registration and protection of patents, utility model certificates, industrial designs, and trademarks. (David Adetona, Industrial Property Bill Introduced in Parliament, NAMIBIA ECONOMIST, Apr. 9, 2010, available at

In an address to Parliament on the subject of the bill, Tweya stated that the legislation would implement international conventions, treaties, and protocols to which Namibia is a signatory. According to Tweya:

the bill is designed to create legal certainty in the country's ability to protect intellectual property, and as a consequence, contribute towards attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), innovation, industrialization, job creation, poverty alleviation and contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Third National Development Plan (NDP3) and of Vision 2030. (Id.)

Tweya also pointed out that Namibia has signed various international bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements in the hope of attracting science and technology-based investments to Namibia, an influx that will not be possible without the adoption of national laws that reflect international standards for protecting intellectual property rights. (Id.)